If your husband hasn’t touched you in a month, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that something is wrong with your marriage or with you.
Someone once told me that love has many faces. The same can be said of sex and intimacy. The very definitions of (and needs for) sex and intimacy can vary from person to person.
Therefore, the topic of physical withdrawal is a multilayered one.
Note: Ellen Evans is a professional Psychotherapist with 10+ years experience in counseling.– Worried Lovers
People Change All The Time
Perhaps your husband’s sexual needs have changed in general, or he just needs a break to explore other aspects of life, and self, and – possibly – you.
In other words, maybe he wants to find different ways of being close to you: emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. So, it’s wise to first take a step back and consider the context of your partner’s lack of touching.
For example, you may have the sort of relationship where neither of you rates sexual activity as high on the intimate list.
Instead, taking long walks in nature, chatting deeply, or simply being in each other’s presence may be enough for you two to feel loved and satisfied.
In some such cases, when a partner physically holds back more than usual, the behavior change may pass under the other partner’s radar entirely. Things may simply continue to run ‘as per normal.’
Withholding Of Sex
However, if the withholding is troubling you, it is worthwhile sharing how your sexual needs may be greater than his.
Maybe your partner is more ok with the new status quo than you are at this stage of your marriage – perhaps he has no idea how you feel.
As another example, perhaps the relationship has grown past the adrenaline rush of those first few months.
It is typical for sex lives to ebb and flow as the years go on or grow into other forms of intimacy.
Again, this is normal and may not have any need for concern.
As said, if you are concerned or distressed about the fact that a fair and regular amount of sexual activity has suddenly – or gradually – cut off (for whatever reasons).
It is best to face it head-on, as a vicious circle of detachment could ensue if you begin to feel you have done something wrong and feel rejected or unloved.
Reactions And Reasons
See if you resonate with these common reactions that partners tend to have when a loved one holds back physical intimacy:
- He’s cheating on me.
- He is no longer finds me attractive/I am unattractive/no longer desirable.
- My man has changed his sexual orientation.
- I am being rejected.
- He no longer loves me.
- My husband hasn’t touched me in a month
Any of the above reasons will undoubtedly heighten feelings of low self-worth and spike anxiety.
And though whatever suspicions you have may actually turn out to be true, remember to take a step back and consider other plausible causes – causes that may have nothing to do with you at all – causes that can be worked on and through.
Following is a list of common reasons for a husband to withdraw:
- Emotional stress
- Mental health issue(s)
- Physical health issue(s)
- Decreased sex drive (often linked to hormone fluctuations)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Recent trauma
- Past trauma resurfacing (particularly sexual abuse)
- Life stressors
- Busy daily demands (exhaustion)
What To Do About It
Of course, all levels of one’s being are interlinked, and sex for both partners is often very much linked to emotional closeness.
So, if your partner is experiencing a great deal of stress at work and doesn’t feel ‘potent,’ this may literally translate to what happens in the bedroom.
He may be the one who feels low in self-worth. Also, he may not have the capacity for emotional closeness or sharing.
Similarly, if your partner begins to experience erectile dysfunction, he may not reveal this problem due to feelings of embarrassment. He may also fear rejection. He may then pull away, which will likely leave both of you feeling rejected.
If a core issue such as erectile dysfunction is not addressed, it can create a vicious circle and possible disintegration of your relationship.
Communication Is Key
The way to help this complex issue? Communication.
If your husband hasn’t touched you in a month, there is certainly a reason for it.
Communication is crucial for sharing both your concerns and needs and his own.
Being able to share one’s innermost self and vulnerabilities is intimate in itself.
If healthy communication itself is the issue, seek advice from a therapist or professional that may help you come back together – in more ways than one. Read more about this topic here.
It is important to recognize that any decrease in physical contact from one’s partner may be more benign than the “un-receiving” partner perceives.
The reasons could stem from nothing in particular or could result from a combination of minor inner issues that lead to an outward behavior of withdrawal.
We are sexual beings. And physical intimacy is usually at the forefront in relationships.
We all have needs for affection and touch. We also have boundaries that need to be respected.
Take the time to look at whatever needs and anxieties that have emerged from your partner’s lack of physical affection – be sure to separate out your issues from his.
Therefore, keep in mind that, above all else, communication is the key to get to the gist of what is going on.
Sometimes the news will be hard. Maybe your husband will reveal that he doesn’t feel as attracted to you, or maybe he is cheating. Or he simply wants to end the marriage, and this is one of many steps of stepping away.
However sore the core issue is (especially if it is sore), it is better to deal with the situation than drag on and create more problems down the line. But more often than not, our imaginations are worse than reality.
If you communicate clearly and compassionately, you may not only find your sexual activity re-igniting, your bond will probably strengthen in the process, too!
Recommended: Can Therapy Help Save Your Relationship?